Thursday, November 13, 2014
Marc Lawrence College & Pro Upsets Nov.13-17
LSU over Arkansas by 11
The first question that came to mind when we saw this openingl ine was who died and made Arkansas Boss Hog? The Razorbacks a favorite? Really? Don’t forget, the piglets were taking 28 points in this matchup less than a year ago, and 12 points at home in 2012. And the last time we looked, these same Hogs were riding a 17-game conference-losing streak. We know one thing for sure: had the Tigers prevailed last week over Alabama, there would be no plus-sign next to their name. And since we suddenly don’t have to worry about points tonight in Fayetteville, check out these doozies: the Tigers are 14-0 SU after angling with Alabama and 13-1 SU away versus sub .500 conference opposition. Meanwhile, Razorbacks’ head coach Bret Bielema is 3-12 SU in his last 15 games versus a foe that owns a better win percentage and Arkansas is just 2-7 ATS with rest. Sure, the Hogs have covered six of the last seven in the series but on all but one of those occasions they were taking points. Call us crazy and throw in a straitjacket, but we’re not going to Arky Asylum tonight – not with the ‘Mad as Hell’ Hatter the answer to this week’s TRIVIA TEASER – and providing us with the Clincher: Les Miles is 22-1 SU with LSU in games off a SU loss, including 3-0 SUATS as a dog.
VA TECH over Duke by 6
Much like in 2012 when the Hokies needed two wins in their fi al three games to keep Frank Beamer’s 21-year bowl streak alive, they need déja vu all over again to accomplish the same goal this
season. Virginia Tech lost, 13-10, as a 12-point home favorite in this series last year, snapping a 12-game series SU win streak. And with Tech getting an extra week to prepare, we expect an all-out
effort from Beamer’s boys to drive out any and all demonic spirits.Speaking of the Blue Devils, they fi nally won the stats in a game, but only by a mere 40 yards, in a 27-10 victory at Syracuse (Duke
was still being outgained, 211-171 through three quarters). We realize Duke is riding a 16-1 SU regular season skein and the Devils are clamoring for respect in the talk of 1-loss consideration teams,
but the feeling here is that talk will be over at the conclusion of this game. Our MIDWEEK ALERT reports the Dukies are -23 YPG in the stats against fellow FBS foes this season, where the Hokies
are +5 YPG in similar games. As with Tennessee, a SU loss will not keep the Gobblers home for the holidays, but they would dearly love to spoil the 1-loss record of a Duke team that’s stolen a lot of
Virginia Tech’s thunder over the past two seasons. The Clincher: HC Beamer is 18-6 SU and 18-4-2 ATS in his career as either a favorite or a dog of less than 10 points with revenge versus an opponent off back-to-back wins.
SOUTH CAROLINA OVER Florida by 3
What’s happened here? An early CFB GOY line posted at the Golden Nugget before the season started had the Gamecocks as 6-point favorites in this contest. Yes, we realize that the Ol’ Ball Coach’s squad is down but they’re not out of post-season contention as they need two wins in their final three games to keep a 6-year bowl streak alive. Remember – they were the pundits’ pick to win the SEC East when the season started. And let’s not forget that Spurrier is 10-3 ATS as a dog in games off back-to-back SU losses, including 6-0 ATS when his team’s win percentage is .555 or less. Sure, the Gators are now playing with renewed confi dence behind FR QB Treon Harris but we’re not sold on them just yet. They’re just 4-13 SU and 5-12 ATS from Game Six out versus winning opposition under Muschamp, including 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS as chalk. The bottom line is what have they done since taking 15.5 points last season in Columbia to warrant a 21-point line swing? Call us collect if you figure it out. Better yet, save your money – we’re chomping at the bit to grab the points. An absolute must take.
New England over Indianapolis by 7
A rematch from last year’s playoffs in which the Pats sent the Colts packing in a decisive 21-point win in Foxboro is on tap this Sunday night. That sets the table for tonight’s fi ght, as our welloiled
machine notes Indy is just 7-14 ATS home on Sunday nights, including 0-7 ATS with revenge and 0-5 SUATS when off a SUATS win. On the other side of the coin, the Pats are on a 4-0 SUATS run
in their last four Sunday-nighters while also standing a staggering 7-2 SU and 9-0 ATS all-time under the Sunday Night lights as a pick or dog of 3 or less points. While Andrew Luck has been nothing
short of brilliant in his young NFL career (29-15 SU and 28-15-1 ATS in all games), he has struggled in tonight’s role, just 2-7 SUATS with revenge in non-division bouts when off a SU win, including
0-5 SUATS from Game Eight out. And for those of you insistent on drinking the intoxicating Luck Kool-Aid, our INCREDIBLE STAT OF THE WEEK delivers a sobering antidote, noting the Colts are
1-14 ATS since 1980 as home favorites against New England. Whoa Nellie! All this and we haven’t even touched on The Clincher: Patriots QB Tom Brady is 28-8-1ATS in his NFL career as a pick
or dog of 3 or less points, including 18-3-1 ATS before Game Eleven of the season.
HOUSTON over Carolina by 10
It’s amazing what a new coach and a new attitude can do to a floundering program. Mike Pettine’s arrival in Cleveland has been a saving grace as, for fi rst time since 1994, the Browns are in sole
possession of fi rst place in the AFC North. This seismic shift finds fans, and the betting public, delirious with playoff fever, especially knowing pro bowlers WR Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron,
are due back next week. The talk of playoffs has even enthralled Pettine, who says, “We’re not going to hide from it... I think it’s OK.” To that we say hold your horses. They will fi rst need to get
past a Houston Texans team that is 4-1 SUATS the last four meetings in this series, and one that is 4-0 ATS away in games against doublerevenge-minded foes. Our all-knowing database passes along this gem: 4-5 NFL away teams in Game Ten of the season are 14-8-1 ATS since 1980, including 5-0 ATS when facing a foe off a SU doubledigit win. With the Texans anxious to rally around QB Ryan Mallett in his fi st NFL start, we close it out with The Clincher: Winning teams at home in Game Ten of the season that won 4 or fewer games last year are 1-10-1 ATS when hosting a nondivision opponent.
Written by John Pricci
can also be found at Playbook.com
- One Click Handicapping
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Marc Lawrence College and Pro Upsets, Oct. 30 - Nov. 3
Boston College over VA TECH by 3
Our MIDWEEK ALERT informs us that the Eagles hit Blacksburg on this first Saturday in November with the better overall offense, the better rushing attack and the stingier defense. And ‘better’ yet – we find them on the right side of the page (i.e. dogs). That’s a combination we can’t pass up. Yes, we realize that Beamer’s boys will be looking for payback after dropping a 34-27 decision last season in Chestnut Hill but we also know that Eagles’ HC Steve Addazio is 4-0 SUATS as a dog versus a foe with revenge. And, yes, we’re well aware that the 4-4 Hokies – like in 2012 – still need two wins in their final four games to extend a 21-year bowl streak
under Frank Beamer. The Gobblers may have to find one of those wins at either Duke in two weeks or at home in its season finale against Virginia (the one at Wake Forest is a given) as we can’t see an offense that has been held to two meaningless touchdowns (both late 4th-quarter scores) in its last two games doing any damage against B.C.’s 8th-ranked stop-unit. An easy take as we may find ourselves in an Eagles’ nest come this ‘Midweek.’
AUBURN over Ole Miss by 4
Jaybird The Bulldog, our SEC scout, is living in high cotton these days. He’s enjoyed five good weeks in a row and has somehow emerged unscathed from the pointspread minefield known as the Southeastern Conference. Because of this success, we asked if he might have any tips for our readers regarding seldom-discussed topics like money management. “You know what I think of when I hear the words ‘money management’?” Jay said. “I’m going to pick out the best game on the board, then bet all the money I can manage to get hold of – and look to make a mint! That’s what I call money-manage-mint.” Okay, let’s forget about extraneous discussion and concentrate on this latest heavyweight slugfest in the SEC West. “Let me tell you,” he continues, “Ole Miss had their hearts ripped out at Death Valley last week. The Rebels’ pride and joy, their defense, ran out of gas and gave up a 13-play, 95-yard touchdown drive to lose the lead. Then, when they still had a shot at tying things up with a field goal, Mississippi lost 5 yards on a delay of game penalty… and decided to air it out instead. Bo Wallace got picked – game over. I don’t see how they’ll recover from that in a week.” Neither does our database, which points to the arrival of the dreaded ‘Bubble-Burst’ scenario for previously unbeaten Ole Miss. Our SMART BOX also likes the Tigers as a ‘Puttin’ On The Stats’ underdog, a recommendation that works quite well with Auburn’s recent 4-1 SUATS series domination and its 6-2 ATS success as a conference dog of 7 or fewer points. Mississippi may be reeling but the Rebs don’t show up empty handed, boasting a solid 7-1 ATS mark when playing with conference revenge. Second straight time in this series that Aubbie’s been a dog (Ole Miss laid 2 points last year in a 30-22 loss) but we don’t mind, not with Malzahn sitting pretty in this week’s TRIVIA TEASER on page 2. So does Jaybird think the Rebels could lose outright in consecutive weeks? “Remember what General George S. Patton once said? All glory is fleeting.” Sounds like a take to us.
INDIANA over Michigan by 3
Where there’s Hoke, there’s fire. The Bunsen burner is set on ‘scorch’ in Ann Arbor these days as last week’s no-show in East Lansing was inexcusable. Don’t worry Michigan fans, we’ll ‘spear’ you all the gory details! But what we won’t leave out is the fact that the Wolves are dancing to a 2-10 SU record in their last 12 games versus .400 or greater opposition, including 0-3 SUATS as a favorite of 3 or more points. Sure, Brady’s bunch can hang their hats on a defense that has held six of eight foes to season-low – or 2nd low – yards this season, but that does little for a team averaging less than 16 PPG against fellow FBS opponents this campaign. Especially against a veteran, high-powered Hoosiers’ attack that ranks 33rd in the nation in total offense and is anxious to snap a six-year bowl drought (they’ll need to win three of their final five games to do that). Aside from the fact that we despise Homecoming chalk, our best guess is that this alumni affair will not be well attended – especially after the Maize-and-Blue supporters get a gander at The Clincher: 17 returning-starter underdogs with a sub .500 record (Indiana) off a pair of ATS losses are 33-6 ATS since 1990 when seeking revenge.
San Diego over Miami by 10
The Chargers bolt from Southern California to South Florida in this west-meets-east AFC showdown on Sunday. The coast-to-coast travel factor may not suit San Diego but if there is one team that has been able to overcome the early starts for left coast teams in east coast time zone games, it’s the Chargers, who are 6-2 SU and ATS in their last eight visits to eastern time zone cities, including 5-1 SUATS as dogs (see visit to Buffalo earlier this year). In fact, San Diego is 11-2 ATS from Game Six out away versus AFC East opponents, including 5-0 ATS with revenge. Meanwhile, Miami enters off an ‘inside-out’ win over the Jaguars (won the game but lost the stats) and has now been outyarded in four of its last six contests. They are also 2-14 ATS as home chalk between away games. The Dolphins upset the Chargers here as 3-point dogs last season in a game that saw Diego win the stats, 435-343. The bottom line is Miami’s last three wins have come against foes that are currently 4-19, while the Chargers’ losses this season have come against opponents that are 10-4 on the season. Back the better team as the dog here today. The Clincher: San Diego head coach Mike McCoy is 12-3-1 ATS (7-0 ATS last seven) in his NFL career against non-division teams, including 6-0 SUATS when facing .666 or greater opposition.
BALTIMORE OVER PITTSBURGH by 13
We’re not sure what was worse: being a Colts fan having to suffer through Pittsburgh’s 639 yard, 51-point outburst in a 17-point Indianapolis loss at Heinz Field? Or having to watch the Steelers for three and half hours while wearing their gaudy chain-gang convict throwback uniforms? We say toss that prison garb ASAP, thank you. Then again, you could have had the Ravens on your ticket last week, only to watch them gift-wrap a 3-point loss against the Bengals. All of which sets the table for this prime time Sunday night affair. It also sends remembrances of the Eagles and their ‘One Of These Nights’ hit tune playing in our head, an oldie from Marc’s 2013 Black Book as it tells us to ‘play against’ NFL home teams on Sunday nights if they are off back-to-back SU wins. That’s because these teams are 5-13 SU and 4-13-1 ATS in division games since 2006, including 2-7 SU and 1-8 ATS when off a pair of ATS wins. That’s music to our ears next to the Black-and-Gold’s 1-10 ATS mark on Sunday nights – including eight straight losses since 1997 – when playing off a SU
win versus an opponent off a SUATS loss. And if that doesn’t do it, there’s always The Clincher: NFL teams at home in the 3rd of three straight home games off back-to-back SU wins are 3-15 ATS when facing a division opponent off a SU loss.
Written by John Pricci
can also be found at Playbook.com
- One Click Handicapping
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Marc Lawrence College and Pro Upsets, Oct. 23 to Oct 27
COLORADO over UCLA by 1
A victim of their own success – 10-3 SU and 9-4 ATS in 2013 – the underachieving Bruins have been major money burners this season, bringing a 1-6 ATS mark into this contest. Highly-touted QB Brett Hundley has regained his aim since a Heisman-killing 48-yard passing performance against Texas in mid-September but the defense has gone into early hibernation, giving up 106 points in its last three games (1-2 SU). Who can forget UCLA head coach Jim Mora’s heated sideline argument with DC Jeff Ulbrich while Oregon put up 42 points in the Rose Bowl two weeks ago? Hey, the visitors’ 7-14 road chalk mark in their last 21 Pac-12 games does not look promising... nor does their 5-14-1 ATS mark, including 0-6-1 ATS as favorites of more than 6 points, in games after facing California. We won’t even mention that the Blue-and-Gold are just 1-6 ATS in games before facing their next opponent, Arizona! Colorado’s scoreboard results may not show it but the Buffs have improved by leaps and bounds in their third season under HC Mike MacIntyre, gaining 99 YPG more
on offense while yielding 34 YPG less on defense this season compared to last. Ralphie also gets the job done as a conference home dog of 14 or fewer points off back-to-back SU losses, going 9-4 SU and 10-3 ATS, and MacIntyre chips in with a 4-1-1 ATS effort against foes allowing 18.5 or more points per game. With Ralphie’s herd averaging a stout 31 PPG, we look for the Bruins to reach a Rocky Mountain low this afternoon in Boulder. To put the wraps on this bear trap, Marc’s ‘ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG’ system from the 2011 Black Book conveys The Clincher: College football road favorites off a win in which they allowed 30 or more points, who allow more than 29 PPG and 4.0 or more Yards Per Rush on the season, are 5-25-1 ATS in this role since 1980.
Texas over KANSAS ST by 3
Bill Snyder’s crew fi nds themselves as the leaders at the top of the Big 12 standings at 3-0, but it’s safe to say that KSU didn’t beat Oklahoma – the Sooners simply beat themselves. All-American kicker Michael Hunnicutt suffered through a nightmare, missing a 32-yard FG in the fi rst half, seeing the tying PAT blocked early in the final period, and with 3:53 to play, snell-hooking the potential game-winning FG from 19 yards out. The Wildcats then ran out the clock by converting two critical first downs. But it wasn’t all Hunnicutt’s fault as Oklahoma was outstatted 533-385 and committed five turnovers to KSU’s none. So now that we have
completely downplayed Kansas State’s biggest win of the season, we’ll also point out that they are looking at an Oklahoma State revenger on deck, putting the Wildcats dead in the middle of an Okie sandwich (we usually order that one medium-rare). But the simple fact is the Longhorns are improving with each game, and their offensive yardage has increased in each of the last five contests in a row. Sophomore QB Tyrone Swoopes is finally finding his footing: he engineered the final drive against Iowa State, setting up the winning field goal by completing two long passes to Jaxon Shipley and John Harris after the Cyclones had tied the game with 28 seconds left. But here’s The Clincher: UT head coach Charlie Strong is 20-8 SU and 21-7 ATS away from home, including 13-0 ATS versus .666 or greater opponents. GA TECH over Pitt by 3 Is it time for Georgia Tech HC Paul Johnson to spend a little more time with his defense? The Yellow Jackets have now out-yarded each of their last two opponents by 100-plus yards – only to lose both games on the scoreboard. Lord knows Johnson has tinkered with that run-Forrest-run offense of his for so long that it always ranks near the top of the nation in rushing (the Wreck rambles for 305 RYPG, 5th best in college football this season) but a defense that gets ripped for a ridiculous 5.3 yards per rush needs to be repaired immediately. This week the Tech juggernaut will get a stiff test against a Pittsburgh stop-unit that’s yielding only 111 YPG rushing and 279 YPG total. The Panthers also logged a few extra days of rest after snapping a 3-game losing skid with their home dog win here last Thursday night versus Virginia Tech. But those facts don’t give us a complete picture of this matchup as our mean machine notes that coach Johnson stands 15-5 ATS as a road dog versus sub .666 opposition, and that the Panthers own a dreadful 1-7 ATS mark in their last eight tries as pick or favorites. And if the Pitt defense can’t slow Tech’s ground attack (GT rushed for 276 yards in last year’s meeting), the black cats are in big trouble: they’re an awful 2-28 ATS as chalk in games where they allow 195 or more rushing yards. Hey, that’s enough to make us think two Techs in a row will be one too many for Pittsburgh.
Philly over Arizona by 11
Don’t look now but the NFL team with the best record since the start of the second half of the season last year has been: the Eagles at 12-3. And the team with the 2nd best record over the same span is none other than the Cardinals at 11-3! Take that, Denver and Seattle! Ironically, one of Arizona’s three defeats came at the hands of Philadelphia in a 24-21 loss at Lincoln Financial Field on the 1st of December. And today, despite losing games by an average of -40 YPG this season, the Cardinals sit atop the rugged NFC West looking down on the 49ers and the Seahawks. Meanwhile, the Eagles reside a half-game back of the resurgent
Cowboys in the NFC East behind an offense that ranks No. 2 in scoring offense. More importantly, Philly is 7-3 SU away under head coach Chip Kelly, including 6-2 ATS when not favored by more than 3 points. And that revenge aspect we noted earlier for the Cardinals – forget about it – as Zona is a miserable 4-18 ATS at home with a .500 or greater record when seeking single-revenge. However, as we’ve come to learn, it’s the wisdom of the database that steps front and center with The Clincher: NFL teams off a Bye Week who tossed a shutout in their previous game are 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS when facing an avenging non-division foe, including 5-0 SUATS if the opponent is off a SU win of 6 or more points in its last game.
Kansas City over St. Louis by 14
It’s a debate as to which of these teams posted a more impressive win last week – the Rams in their stunner over the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks, or the Chiefs in their takedown of the division-leading Chargers. For our money, and after looking at the stat sheet, it had to be the latter given KC’s +114 total yard effort as opposed to Louie’s -191 total yard deficit. Regardless, our well-oiled machine is first in line to report that teams who manage to knock off defending Super Bowl champions are just 19-39 ATS away versus .500 or greater foes in their next outing, including just 10-31 ATS as a dog if they were a dog against the champs. The Rams’ 0-5 ATS mark in games after scoring 21 or more points against Seattle is certainly noteworthy. As is KC’s 7-0 ATS record at Arrowhead off a division battle when hosting an NFC West opponent, along with its 5-0 SUATS mark in this series since 1997. The all-knowing machine provides The Clincher: NFL teams in the middle of a classic division sandwich (non-division game off a pair of division games with a pair of division games on deck) are 9-23 ATS since 1980 when off a SU underdog win, including 0-6 ATS if they allowed more than 24 points in the win.
Written by Marc Lawrence
can also be found at Playbook.com
- One Click Handicapping